Prasko, Jiri Horacek, Jan Klaschka, Jirina
Ivana Ondrackova & Jiri Sipek
of the Psychiatric Centre Prague: Prof. MUDr. Cyril Höschl,
Psychiatric centre Prague, Ustavni 91, Prague - 8, 181 03
3rd Medical faculty Charles University Prague, Centre of Neuropsychiatric
January 19, 2002
Accepted: January 23, 2002
Major depressive disorder, inpatients, bright light therapy,
imipramine, combination, clinical trial
The aim of a double-blind study was to assess the efficacy
of bright light therapy and/or imipramine in the treatment
of inpatients suffering with recurrent non-seasonal major
34 in-patients with DSM-III-R diagnosis of major depressive
disorder, recurrent type, were randomly allocated into 3 treatment
groups. After 4-day washout period with baseline assessment
they underwent 3 weeks of different types of treatment:
a) Group A: bright light therapy (5000 lux from 6-8 a.m.)
and imipramine 150 mg/day.
b) Group B: bright light therapy (5000 lux from 6-8 a.m.)
and imipramine-like placebo.
c) Group C: dim red light (500 lux from 6-8 a.m.) and imipramine
Outcome measures included weekly Hamilton Psychiatric Rating
Scale for Depression, Clinical Global Impression Scale, Montgomery
and Asberg Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression and Beck
Patients of all three groups improved significantly. The improvement
of the patients of group B treated with bright light therapy
plus placebo was superior to the other two groups, but not
Bright light therapy can be effective in the treatment of
non-seasonal major depressive disorder.
is a common disorder, with serious consequences for a high
proportion of patients. Indeed, it is estimated that 2.6 -
6.2% of the general population experience depression in any
given year  and that 15% of those who develop severe and
recurrent illness eventually take their own lives . Unfortunately,
although ranges of effective antidepressant agents are available,
many require an administration period of at least 2 weeks,
and some up to 4 weeks, before a therapeutic effect is seen
. Bright light is a unique treatment method, which is effective
and well tolerated and has an early onset of action, in the
treatment of patients with Seasonal affective disorder [4,
5]. Some studies reported an antidepressant effect of bright
light also in non-seasonal depression (non-SAD) [6, 7, 8].
However, the reports concerning the effect of a short-term
administration of bright light on non-SAD depression are controversial.
The aim of our double-blind study was to compare the effect
of a three week bright light therapy and/or imipramine in
the treatment of inpatients suffering with recurrent non-seasonal
major depressive disorder.
The inclusion criteria ... ...
Exclusion criteria: ... ...
Light specifications: ... ...
Main outcome measures: ... ...
Statistical analysis: ... ...
by grant CNS LN00B12 MSMT CR and by grant IGA: 870-2.
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